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how to move on from makecode style block coding
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how to move on from makecode style block coding

by nickine9 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:51 am

I have recently been using makecode with circuit playgrounds and microbits in preparation for a presentation at our community centre. It took me a while to come to terms the environment but i've been impressed by how far you can push it without leaving the drag and drop blocks environment. However, having been a programmer in the days when notepad was high tech, i'm puzzled about how to transition from blocks to "proper" languages such as c++ or python.

can any forum members share their experiences in this area?

nickine9
 
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Re: how to move on from makecode style block coding

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:01 am

One good way to learn is to pick a project and dive-in. Maybe start with one of the projects in the Learning System. Once you have it working, try modifying or extending the code. If you have done programming before, you should pick things up quickly.
https://learn.adafruit.com/
https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/

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Re: how to move on from makecode style block coding

by nickine9 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:28 am

Thanks for that, perhaps I should have put a bit more context to my question. I will be running a couple of short sessions for local families to try to get them interested in the topic and then if there is enough interest turn it into a regular club. From my personal experience using the arduino IDE and C can be as easy as makecode for simple projects but I have had 40 years experience in other areas of IT. The advantage of makecode is that it hides a lot of the complexities of development which I can see as a good thing for learners but at some stage they will have to face reality. So to rephrase the question should I start people off on makecode to get them hooked and then move to e.g. the IDE later or start off with the IDE and try to smooth out the early learning curve?

nickine9
 
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Re: how to move on from makecode style block coding

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:00 pm

Makecode certainly is less intimidating and probably a good place to start for many people. One way to help smooth the transition from the graphical programming environment to C/C++ is to build some equivalent programs so that they can see the correlation between Makecode blocks and C/C++ statements and control structures.

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Re: how to move on from makecode style block coding

by danhalbert on Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:53 pm

Also in MakeCode you can switch between Blocks and JavaScript. Just click the toggle at the top of the MakeCode editor webpage. I'm not sure you want have them do programming in JavaScript, but they can see how the blocks correspond to typical programming language constructs.

An easy next step is to load CircuitPython on your Circuit Playground Express boards. There are many sample CircuitPython programs in our Learn Guides:
https://learn.adafruit.com/welcome-to-circuitpython
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-cir ... nd-express

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.